The Heritage Railway Association is the UK-wide trade body representing heritage railways, tramways, cliff railways, museums and rolling stock owners. We take a leading role in developing best practice while acting as the voice of the sector by enhancing relationships within the industry, government and regulators.
Our 300 members range from lengthy heritage railways operating historic steam locomotives, to short electric tramways and even miniature lines. Together they play a vital role in conservation, tourism, training and regeneration across the length and breadth of the British Isles.
They share a devotion to heritage rail and a passion for constant improvement in the sector. Together our members attract more than 13 million visitors each year and generate £600m plus to the economy.
The HRA is here to make sure that an ever-greater number of people properly understand the role that heritage rail plays in our society, cultural life and economic success. We have a small team of dedicated professional staff, enhanced by experts from the sector who give up their time on a voluntary basis to benefit members.
Our work for members can be broken down into five key areas:
- Influence and collaboration with governments, regulators and other key stakeholders of the sector to tackle key issues and protect the future of heritage rail.
- Technical support, guidance and standards to help share best practice across the heritage rail sector in areas like locomotive boiler repairs, infrastructure maintenance and governance.
- Business support to assist members with issues like fundraising, legal advice includes our pioneering work on environmental protection, plus ensuring the sector is at the forefr, insurance, training, volunteering and employment issues. This ever-increasing area of work also ont of equality and diversity in the wider heritage world.
- Events and networking created specifically for heritage rail. Our regular seminars and conferences cover the big challenges in the sector with expert speakers who really know heritage rail. We provide regular training events and workshops, both in person and online using our successful Mutual Improvement Class format. Our Annual Awards is the biggest event of its kind, with hundreds of guests celebrating the very best in heritage rail and recognising the greatest achievements.
- Communications and news both for the sector and the wider world. We act as the industry spokesman on all issues affecting heritage rail, we’re the first point of contact for film and TV companies and we proactively promote the sector at every opportunity in trade, tourism and national media outlets. We also provide regular communications direct to our members featuring the latest insights, news and information.
We’re passionate about celebrating the successes of our sector and playing an ever-greater part in the future well-being and cultural success of our four nations.